The Gathering Storm

I don’t know how many of you are readers, avid or otherwise, but I am. Ever since I was a child, I’ve devoured books I come across, intrigued and amazed at the worlds created and the stories of people in settings beyond my reality. From Science-Fiction and Fantasy, to Military and Spy, I enjoy all sorts. Of course, like many of you probably, my main focus has always been the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre. Novels of my youth like Lord of the Rings, Deathgate Cycle, the Wrinkle in Time and the Ender series drew me in completely, and had me bugging my parents for frequent trips to the library and the local book store.

One particular trip to Books-a-Million with my parents through the check-out line sticks out in my memory. I was in fourth grade, and my eye was drawn to what looked like a normal-sized paper-back book. The book was blue, had some interesting art on the cover, and on the bottom right corner was a large orange circle, spiked around the rim, that said “FREE” in bold black letters. I picked it up, and asked the female cashier, “Is this really free?”. I was a polite child, and even then, I didn’t like to presume things (or I knew most free things have a catch), she nodded at me an affirmative, and I walked out with what I thought was a full book. That book was called The Eye of the World and it was actually only the first half of the first novel of the series.

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